Monthly Archives: August 2012

Six weeks…

The school holidays are nearly at an end 🙂 It’s quite hard keeping a very inquisitive nine year old entertained and he really needs the stimulation of being in school. He’s done quite well this summer, a week in Tenerife with his dad, a holiday in the Lake District with my parents plus lots of days out with Beardy on the motorbike. Fingers crossed for nice weather at the weekend, so they can have a big day out before term starts.

I haven’t achieved a great deal in the last few weeks, but I have a bulging sketchbook and a million ideas whizzing around in my head. We’re planning on launching our Autumn collection very soon, can’t say what just yet, but it’s inspired by nature…

I have a big batch of new work currently at the Assay Office being hallmarked, so that will be ready for Made in Wales on the 8-9th September, I can’t wait!




Now, I don’t know about you, but if I see blue flashing lights behind me in the car, I always think it’s me they’re after, even though I’m doing nothing wrong, and despite being quite shabby, my perfectly road legal car has dropped some vital part half a mile up the road.

I get the same sinking feeling when a business contact rings and their name appears on my phone. Today it was one of the hotels that sells my jewellery in Reception. Disasters flashed through my mind in the few seconds it took to fish the phone out of my handbag. That they’d changed their mind about working with me, or that some scumbag had broken into my cabinet and nicked all my stock. You know, cheerful things like that!

So you can imagine my delight when they asked me if I could come in ASAP because they’ve sold lots of things, and I have a fair wodge of money to collect 🙂

I wonder, will I ever have enough confidence in my skills to not imagine the worst every time the phone rings? I do hope so…

On holiday

The last day of our holiday in the lovely Lake District, back down south tomorrow. Well, only relatively down south, as I’m stopping off with Mum and the family for the bank holiday. And hopefully jailbreaking my iThings 🙂

We went to the Cumberland Pencil Museum in Keswick today, having been a bit obsessive about stationery from an early age, I wanted to see how you make a pencil. I’ve always wondered how you get the lead down the stick! And now I know. There was a filmcrew from ITV there, making a programme for the afternoons presented by Rory Bremner. A very nice chap, he seemed quite happy to pose for a photo and sign random bits of paper. My son has spent the evening watching clips of him on Youtube, and was very impressed with his Gordon Brown voice. Think he has a new fan!



Big. Mad. Rush.

Gah! Time is going fast, it’s a sign of age, so they tell me. I turned 38 just last week, surely it’s too early for such middle aged truisms… The school holidays haven’t helped either, not only do I feel more ancient than ever, but I just haven’t had the shed time I need to get stuff done! The joys of being self employed and being the childcare, I suppose.

Anyway, the mad rush is to get my new collection ready for the “Made in Wales” show on September 8-9th, at the Rhondda Heritage Park, organised by the very wonderful Melissa Warren. This has to be the most prestigious showcase in the area for Valleys (and further afield in Wales) designer-maker artisans, and I am delighted that Spiny Sharkly Things will be exhibiting. As an added attraction, there will be a vintage clothes and accessories market running alongside, can’t wait to have a good mooch around that one! Beardy will be there with his Pirate Genes stall too. If you’re local, please feel free to print off a poster and spread it around – and if you’re not, would you share it on Facebook?



So rather than blogging and fannying around on Facebook, I’ve been full time mum, but yesterday I got chance to really crack on in the shed, getting new pieces ready to go to the Assay Office for hallmarking, as I’m lucky enough to be off to the beautiful Lake District for a week with Scoticule and my parents. I’ll have a week’s break from metalbashery to let my poor hands recover (had a flurry of minor nicks, scrapes and burns, but I fared better than my bench, which has a big charred hole in it) and catch up on some knitting and reading. I hope. I plan to get busy with polishing, stone setting and final finishing with some fresh skin when we get back 🙂

Angels and Bugs

As some of you may have seen on our Facebook page, we’ve been leaving little beaded angels and bugs around the place for people to pick up and adopt. No ulterior motive, other than to make people smile 🙂 There’s some pictures of them here.  Have you found one? We’d love you to tell us what you named it, and where in the world they end up!


We’re up in North Wales at the moment, enjoying a few grown-up days away while Scroticule is in Tenerife with his dad. We’re staying in a lovely B&B called Felindre Farm at the southern tip of Bala Lake, a really charming place with stunning views and even better hospitality. At the landlady’s suggestion we took one of the mountain roads, which had the most spectacular views. I’ll post the photos when I can find a bit of wifi!

We went to the Centre for Alternative Technology today, built in an old slate quarry in 1974, and has been developing ever since. A really tranquil and inspiring place to wander around, not to mention an epic bookshop! Beardy went back in the early eighties, when it was in it’s infancy. We try to live a fairly low-impact life, so it’s heartening to see that they at CAT and we at home seem to share similar ways at looking at things. I shall start knitting my own yoghurt out of beards next.

We ended up in Barmouth after, so I’ve been collecting pebbles for a new collection which will be part of my Made in Wales: Made FROM Wales range. But more on that another day. Just need to get the sand out of my handbag now!

We’re in our way back to the farm now, while digesting a very nice Indian meal. One thing puzzles me, a couple came into the curry house while we were there and both ordered… Scampi and chips. Now, there are a lot of places in Barmouth where you can get all sorts of deep fried fishy delights – so why go to an Indian restaurant? Bizarre.

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